Overview of Early Psychology
The word psychology itself is derived from the Greek word psyche,
Hi, I'm Hollie Hancock, here today with About.com to look at a brief overview of early psychology.Psychology is both an applied and an academic field that studies the human mind and behavior. Research in psychology seeks to understand and explains people's thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. The study of psychology evolved both out of philosophy and biology. Discussions of these two subjects date as far back as the early Greeks, our thinkers and our friends, Aristotle and Socrates. The word psychology is derived from the Greek word psyche, meaning 'soul' or 'mind.' So as therapists and psychologists, we take it very seriously that when we are working with individuals, we understand that we are working with the deepest, most intimate parts of the human mind, the soul.If you were asked about the father of psychology, what name comes to mind? I know what you might be thinking, but it's not him! How about Wilhelm Wundt? He is the father of psychology. The field and study of psychology was born when Wundt established the first experimental psychology lab in Leipzig, Germany in 1879. Yeah, we've been studying the brain and our behavior a long time. Wundt's work focused on describing the structures that composed the mind. This perspective relied heavily on the analysis of sensation and feelings through the use of introspection.So our stereotypical line as psychologists, "how does that make you feel?" Clearly, that is a highly subjective process. And Wundt believed that properly trained individuals would be able to accurately identify mental processes that accompanied feelings, sensations and thoughts. Today, however, psychologists use more objective research methods compared to Wundt's subjective methods. I still use, "how does that make you feel?" in my practice, but I understand that the research and the more objective forms of data are also helpful as well.The diversity of study under the umbrella of psychology is wide and runs very deep. For example: abnormal psychology, counseling and clinical psychology, developmental psychology, forensic psychology – which is very interesting, especially if you would like to be a profiler, school psychologist, and obviously many, many more. Because Wilhelm Wundt was so crucial in developing the field of psychology, or at least getting us started on that road, he paved the way for many others to work, to broaden and increase our knowledge about psychology and how it affects us on a daily basis, because it certainly does.I'm Hollie Hancock with About.com. Check us out online for more information.